(Image: The Associated Press via The Christian Post)
The running backs coach for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team has reiterated his strong Christian faith in a recent speech, saying he believes Christianity is the only "true" religion.
Running backs coach Ron Brown, who has been with the Cornhuskers since 2008, expressed his Christian beliefs at a recent Fellowship of Christian Athletes Prayer Breakfast, as reported by South Dakota's Rapid City Journal.
Brown, who has become known in his local community and beyond for his outspoken Christian faith, told those in attendance at the prayer breakfast that now is a difficult time for Christians living in America, comparing Christianity's struggle in modern society to a college football team playing a "road game" in a hostile environment.
The coach said that the only way for Christianity to continue a viable existence in the face of evil, is for Christians to stop being silent about their faith. Brown then went on to express his belief that Christianity is the only true religion.
"Jesus didn't say he was a way, a truth, a life," Brown said. "He said he is the way, meaning he is the only way [...] It can't be 'a.' There can't be 5,000 different truths. There's not even two truths."
"There's one truth […] any faith on this planet, any philosophy, any notion, any religion that can't sign off on John 14:6 that Jesus Christ is truly God, God the son, that he is the way, truth and the life, that he is the only way you can have a relationship through God the son with God the father, they're wrong. They're dead wrong. Any other faith outside of Christianity is dead wrong. That don't go over well. That don't go over well in this culture."
Brown has previously received criticism for expressing his Christian faith. The running backs coach received public backlash and calls for his dismissal after an Omaha City Council meeting in March 2012, during which the coach said he was against an ordinance protecting homosexual students at the university against discrimination. Brown said he opposed the ordinance because he believed if one group received protection, another group could very lose protection.
Although many, including one member of the Lincoln Board of Education, requested that Brown be fired for his comments, the coach replied by saying: "To be fired for my faith would be a greater honor than to be fired because we didn't win enough games." Ultimately, Brown did not lose his job over the comments.
While Brown has been able to maintain his coaching job at a public university, another Christian football coach was not as fortunate. Ernest Jones, an assistant football coach for the University of Connecticut, received criticism earlier this year for saying that as director of player engagement at the public university, he teaches team members that "Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle."
Jones, who had recently transferred to the school from a coaching position at the Catholic university of Notre Dame, was reprimanded for his comments by university president Susan Herbst, who issued a statement that read, in part: "It should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students."
One month after his comments, Jones resigned from his post as assistant coach at the university. The university denied that Jones' resignation had anything to do with his comments, with head coach Bob Diaco saying in a statement that Jones' decision was "entirely family and personally related."